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First tenants move into new £13 million innovation hub

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A shipyard designer, a social enterprise tackling deforestation in South America, and a high-tech web architecture firm are among the first clients set to establish a base at the Tremough Innovation Centre, where building works were completed earlier this month.

The innovation centre, which is operated by Plymouth University, was funded by the ERDF Convergence Programme and the South West Regional Development Agency. Its development was led by Cornwall Council, supported by Cornwall Development Company, with the aim of creating capacity for 140 jobs and nurture the development of high-skilled, growth enterprise in the county.

TIC will be able to support up to 70 businesses, providing clients with access to a 'supportive and creative' communal environment in which they can develop their ideas, accelerate their growth, and create jobs.

Five businesses relocated to the site yesterday, with another due to move in by the end of the week. Among them is social enterprise Cool Earth, an environmental charity focused on the protection of endangered rainforests. Its director, Matthew Owen, said: "We're looking forward to meeting other innovative organisations that are excelling in their field and keen to expand in Cornwall."

A further eight businesses are also due to move into TIC in the coming weeks. Some will take up private offices, while others will take up shared workspaces in the centre's Formation Zone.

Centre manager Richard Snell said: "We're tremendously excited."

TIC is the sister site of the Pool Innovation Centre and to the forthcoming Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre, which is currently under construction next to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust site in Truro. This is expected to be completed in late October 2012.

Bernard Curren, Director of TIC, said: "There has been a tremendous amount of interest from within the local business community and prospective clients.

"As our success at Pool has shown, there is clearly a strong appetite for high quality innovation support and collaboration in the county.

"And with the University at the heart of the Peninsula Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN), all of our clients are automatically plugged into a region-wide strategy to accelerate the creation, growth and investment in high quality businesses and ideas, creating wealth and jobs in the region."

Chris Ridgers, Cornwall Council's cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: "The success of Pool Innovation Centre set the bar high.

"It is very pleasing that the Tremough Innovation Centre has hit the ground running with businesses taking up resident from its opening.

"Positive support for, and encouragement of, high-growth potential businesses is an integral part of Cornwall Council's ambitions for Cornwall's economy."

ARTICLE SOURCE: ThisIsDevon website

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